Hiking in LA
Hiking in LA is different from hiking in other parts of the world. If you go up Runyon Canyon, you’ll pretty much see people dressed up in their active best and it’s normal to bump into a celebrity or two. If it’s a weekend, Griffith Park will be packed and it will be hard for you to get a great picture without a crowd behind you. Elysian Park is a little more quiet, but the views aren’t as great as the other two. So here it is, I share with you the quiet and quaint spot nestled in a residential neighborhood bordering East LA and El Sereno – the hidden, undiscovered wonder that is Ascot Hills.
How to Get There
The entrance of this park is on Multnomah, which you would turn off from Soto St. This can be reached easily off the 10 Freeway. You can park inside the park or in the nearby residential areas. My little brothers attended Multnomah Elementary and my parents still live in Hillside Village, the neighborhood closest to the park. My mom hikes up Ascot Hills daily, so if you see her – don’t be shy and say hello. Though she’ll probably greet you first, since she does that to everybody.
An Assortment of Hiking Trails
Once you walk into the park, immediately on your left is a trail up the hill. My mom and I usually do that one last to enjoy the view of the skyline. We go up the middle trail first, which always reminds me of the movie, The Sound of Music, where when the movie starts, Maria, played by Julie Andrews, is running and singing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music…” I can still hear that song in my head, when I walk through Ascot Hills, since I’ve probably seen that movie at least a hundred times.
The hike up is gradual but intense and if you turn right at the top, you’ll continue along and see a view of Downtown LA and its surroundings. You can also see into Alhambra and the eastern parts of town. As you descend, you can take the cement path down or turn right to go through a winding path along the side of the hill. This makes for a serene hike and it doesn’t feel like you’re in LA, but in fields in the country – where all you can hear is the wind and the trees.
When you reach the bottom of this hill, you can head North and to go back around to the first trail you saw at the beginning of the park. This takes you back up another hill that is the closest side to the Downtown LA skyline. There are some rocks there at the top, where my mom, Lilo the Pom, and I usually take a break to drink water and eat some granola bars. After getting my breath back, I pop into a yoga pose and in this one, my mom was able to catch the sunset shining onto the buildings.
Most of the people that come here are older, retired folks that usually come in the early morning. During the school year, some students from nearby Wilson High School can be seen hanging out. There have been some engagement photo shoots that have been taken here and you don’t have to worry about massive crowds or the cops shutting you down. I often come here on the weeknights and sometimes during the weekends in the early mornings. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
Have you hiked up Ascot Hills yet? Comment below with your favorite place to hike in beautiful LA!